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~ Malden Musings ~ Opening Night Bocce Ball at IACC

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By Peter Levine


It is said in “Malden Musings”…

  • Glory, glory hallelujah!! The best time of the year has arrived! Bocce ball returns to the famed court of the Italian American Citizens Club! Opening Night festivities were on Monday, April 22, with Malden Mayor Gary Christenson rolling the first ball as IACC President Bill Settemio proudly looked on! Special guest Maria Luise from the Mayor’s Office (good form, btw) and EXTRA special guest, the unofficial Mayor of Edgeworth, Dom Fermano! Let the games begin and fuhgeddaboudit!
  • Happy birthday wishes to Kevin Turner!
  • Sheila Fermano! Get well soon! Hope to see you in the near future, Mrs. Fermano! San Rock 2024 is right around the corner, and we need you at Batman Corner (Adam & West)!
  • Oops, not sure how this epic occasion in 1985 slipped my memory…I remember the moment back in ’85 like it was yesterday. My brother Joe and I were in the steam room at the Old Y when Joey matter-of-factly lets me know Helen is with child, her name, Dorothy – after our mother, Dorothy Drago Levine. The best memory from ’85 for sure!
  • Senator (Ed) Markey, I know you’re out there. I realize you’re a busy man, but we hope to see you at this year’s San Rock Festa. First sausage on me!
  • Don’t seem possible but that precocious youngster from West Street, (Lisa’s love) George MacKay (crime control specialist for the MPD), had a milestone birthday just last week! George was a little rascal growing up but grew to be a fine young man and the Pride of Edgeworth! Happy 6-0, big guy! How did that happen?!
  • Birthday girl Jeannie Pisaturo Tucker from the Controller’s Office just celebrated a milestone birthday; for that we wish you many more, my friend. Jeannie’s family threw her a surprise (mumble, mumble) birthday party at a standing room only Anthony’s on Canal Street. Jeannie is like wicked popular so if you scored an invite to this shindig, well, you were lucky (raising hand). Jeannie, happy (mumble mumble) birthday and remember (mumble, mumble) is the new 40! Love ya!
  • There are “stand-up guys” like the late Thomas Manning, and then there are the rest of us. Tom passed on April 17 just shy of his 81st and is the father of City of Malden Administrative Officer Kathleen Manning Hall. I did not know Mr. Manning but just reading the first paragraph of his obituary made me a big fan; “His journey through life was marked by unwavering strength, boundless determination, strength of mind, and a legendary sense of humor that brightened the lives of all who knew him.” Condolences to your family, Kathleen. May his memory be a blessing.
  • Another notable birth in 1985 took place in God’s Country aka Edgeworth. Edgeworth royalty – Anna Puleo – meets the Pride of Meffa, Ernie Ardolino Sr., and their bambino, Ernie Jr., would eventually go on to fame if not fortune on every ball field and park from Devir Park to Pierce Field at Arlington Catholic and beyond. Malden BRL MVP, All-Star back at AC, to college ball at Saint Anselm’s in New Hampshire before settling down, having two beautiful boys (Aiden and Andrew) and becoming Supervisor at Parking for the City of Malden – 1985 was a very good year indeed!
  • I’ve been forewarned. Going forward I have a two “fuhgeddaboudit!” limit. Just made it this week. Insert smiley face.
  • My Honey Fitz (Restaurant?), how do I love thee, let me count the ways. My recent comments may have sounded harsh, but they were said with Malden love. To be continued…
  • Some grumpy, old keyboard warriors on myFace want to “cancel” me, complaining that I practice “institutional sexism” – that I don’t include enough females in my columns. Good grief! Here’s hoping they take their afternoon nap before they read my next column. Just once more…
  • I’d like to see the look on Annette Magistro’s face when the Devir Park girls’ softball team clinched the title with a comeback win against the mighty, mighty (I believe) Miller Park girls back in ’73. Boone’s Farm Apple Wine had nothing to do with the big, beautiful smile on her face. Insert smiley face.
  • I’d like to spend another Thursday night at Frank’s Steak House with my bestie, Vinnie Disano, drinking Remy, busting beans and watching Boston boogie-woogie piano man Preacher Jack have another nervous breakdown just for us. Our waitress, Sunday, proving to be George and Billy Ravanis’ best hire!
  • I’d like to see the late Karen Anderson fight the good fight against the good old boy network back in the ’80s to become the best City Clerk Malden has had in the past 50 years (with all due respect to present City Clerk Carol Ann Desiderio – insert smiley face). Who else feels Karen may possibly have been Malden’s MVP for the past 40 years or so?! Raising hand.
  • I’d like to see Brenda Sousa channel her inner Caitlin Clark for the 1975 girls hoop team at MHS (actually, if she were the off-guard for the boys’ team our senior year, they might have gone a little further in the tournament – with all due to respect to Steve “Carpy” Carpenter, who excelled at point guard for the ’ 75 team, of course).
  • I’d like to shoot hoops in my backyard on Charles Street with Jack Freker’s aunt Cheryl. At 16 she showed me how the backboard could be your friend. Thanks for that, Cheryl!
  • I’d like to see Edgeworth gal (and the best baller in the Guerin family – sorry, Danny & Jimmy) – Paula Guerin carry the girls hoop team at MHS on her back (again) for those early to mid-1980s Golden Gals hoopsters.

As Peter Falk’s iconic TV character Columbo would say, “Just one more thing, sir” – the Irish American Club on West Street has a long, rich history in Malden. In the beginning home to Edgeworth’s large Irish population – eventually spreading out to boyos from Somerville, Charlestown and far beyond the North Shore – the IA have always stepped up whenever there was a worthy cause to embrace. The IA’s Annual Labor Day Road Race has become legendary amongst area runners and for going above and beyond the call of duty raising all kinds of gelt for The Jimmy Fund. Which brings us to last month’s “One Mission Buzz Off for Kids with Cancer.” Once again, these passionately altruistic men from the IA raised about $12,000 with three particular gentlemen stepping up bigly in the process. Born on the Emerald Isle these two Irish lads – Tommy Cronin and Keith McLaughlin – along with longtime Maldonian Andy Relph were shorn of their golden locks for the benefit of the JF in front of a full house cheering them on. Thank you, guys, for everything that you folks do for Malden and beyond.

Postscript 1: Dave “Malden Musings Hall of Famer” Angelo was the only reader to call me out for a minor miscue in my “1985” article. Dave good-naturedly ribbed me on a recent Friday night when he asked me how on earth you can order a pound of bruschetta when bruschetta is an Italian antipasto consisting of grilled bread topped with olive oil and salt? Corn popped! Dave roasted me but good and reminded me he could easily rescind my (half) Italian Heritage card if a glaring error like this transpires in the future. With that said, let’s rewrite for history’s sake this egregious slipup…

“One stop shopping at Forgione Market! A pound of capicola aka gabagool, sliced provolone, and a loaf of French Bread! Fuhgeddaboudit?! On the way out, stop next door at Forgione Liquors for a case of Ballantine!”

Postscript 2: Think about this for a moment. All Seasons Table’s Douglas Tran was a rank stranger to Malden a very short while ago. In 2024, Mr. Tran aka The King of Cool may be the most popular man in Malden (besides Albert Spadafora, of course). Douglas took a chance when he opened All Season’s Table in the not so glamorous Malden Square of just a few short years ago, and it’s paid off “bigly.” Others saw Douglas’ success (through hard work, wicked awesome food and some of the best bartenders North of Boston) and followed his lead, creating the downtown restaurant boom we are experiencing/enjoying today. Thank you, Douglas, once again. Mr. Tran celebrated a birthday recently (well, actually two), and his good friend (and my good friend) Jackie Bouley speaking from the heart, had these words to say:

“Douglas is celebrating two birthdays this month. First being the obvious, his own on May 8th and second, the 18th birthday of the opening of his beloved restaurant, All Seasons Table or AST as many affectionately call it. The naysayers who advised him not to open here all those years ago are now dedicated customers basking in the glory of Douglas’s labor of love. Hands down, his customers, aside from his family and employees are the most important people in his life. Not to mention his dedication and hard work to his craft and those who support him. It is undeniable. He never refers to himself as the owner… he is just too humble for that. Time passes and people come and go, but don’t be mistaken, Douglas Tran is in it for the long haul. Happy Birthday to the “boss”! Thank you for believing in Malden. You brought life back to our beloved Square, and for that, we salute you!”


—Peter is a longtime Malden resident and a regular contributor to The Malden Advocate. He can be reached at PeteL39@aol.com for comments, compliments or criticisms.

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